Avoiding and reducing the risk of Shin Splints


Shin splints is a type of shin pain, usually caused by exercise and often experienced by new runners and commonly found in teenagers. It's not serious and there are things you can do to help get better.

Check if you have shin splints

Shin splints usually happen when you do exercise like running. You will have pain and tenderness along the front of your lower leg (shin).

Causes of shin splints

Shin splints happen when you've put too much stress on your leg.

You're more likely to get shin splints if:

  • you have started exercising after not being active for some time

  • you run or jump on hard surfaces

  • you do not have a good running technique

Things you can do to help

Shin splints usually get better within a few weeks. There are things you can do to get better quicker.


  • take paracetamol or ibuprofen to ease the pain

  • put an ice pack (or bag of frozen vegetables) in a towel on your shin for up to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours

  • switch to gentle exercise such as yoga or swimming while healing

  • exercise on soft ground, if you can, when you're feeling better

  • warm up properly before your run and stretch after you run

  • make sure your trainers or shoes support your feet properly – find out more about choosing the right shoes


  • do not continue doing the exercise that caused your shin splints

  • do not rush back into exercise at the level you were at – build your exercise routine back up slowly

See a Health Care Professional if:

  • you've tried things to help but the pain is not getting better after a week

  • the pain is getting worse

Treatment from a GP

A General health Care Practitioner (or GP in the UK) will ask about your symptoms and examine your leg. If it's not getting better, they may be able to refer you to a physiotherapist.

Physiotherapy from the NHS (or your Healthcare system) might not be available everywhere and waiting times can be long.

You can also secure treatment privately.

Contact me me for Physiotherapist recommendations local to Warwickshire, UK.

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